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  • Writer's pictureAngela Erickson

Explore Homestead Crater-CHECK!

Despite my urge to get all paper out of my house (I am a scanning fool these days..digitizing and storing on external hard drives) I STILL love to get magazines in the mail. If I am not tearing out recipes to try, I am tearing out places I would like to visit. One of my favorite magazines for this is Sunset Magazine. I think I have been getting that since I was in high school…which is a long, long, long time ago.

All places look so beautiful in that magazine…people look so HAPPY! When the pictures really appeal to me, I tack them to my bulletin board. And that is how Homestead Crater ended up on my bucket list. It has literally been on my bulletin board since 2010 and they only opened it to the public in 1996. A fascinating picture from Sunset Magazine showing gorgeous turquoise water glowing from the sun filtering down from a hole in a geothermal dome. Yea, I had to google geothermal dome.

Finally, I made it! Every time I flew into SLC to go home to Pocatello or as layover from some trip or another I would try to figure out a way to go see it. It sits beyond Park City, UT in Midway, UT and is about 60 minutes from the airport. Don’t believe any internet source that says it is less. No way. And you know how I drive. But I was in Pocatello for P’s graduation and had to fly out of SLC on Monday…so perfect!

When you arrive at Midway you are in agricultural land, settled years ago by Mormon pioneers, so you see very old architecture, brick homes, all very cool. Also, you will see they have a lot of Bavarian themed buildings and several of the restaurants have German Schnitzel and Kaesespaetzle. That surprised me. I haven’t looked it up yet, so I am not sure if the original pioneers were German or if they are doing something like Leavenworth, WA and creating a theme. Regardless, a nice clean little green valley.

We stayed at the Worldmark Midway (also Bavarian themed). Pretty nice but standard. Very quiet but go figure in Early May on a Sunday Mother’s Day. Checked in and then ran over to the resort to swim at the Crater. You must have an appointment and you should do online before you go. By the by, we found they are super accommodating as I had originally booked for 5 but at the end it was only P and I that were able to go. They allowed us to cancel the others and refunded us. Nice!

The crater is literally within walking distance of Worldmark Midway so we hustled over to the Homestead Resort. Interesting. The geothermal dome is a little hill (55 feet high-400 foot diameter) …pretty nondescript, underwhelming We wandered over to the entrance which is a gated tunnel…they are very firm about your reservation time. You must wait outside until your time and they let you in. I would recommend you are suited up and ready to go. Don’t forget your towel. They open the door and you go thru a tunnel and WOW! That’s the picture from Sunset Magazine!

After they check you in they instruct you to grab a fitting lifejacket off the wall and that it is mandatory. Well, it IS 65 feet deep so I’m cool with a life jacket. Brrrr…they just hosed them all off cold water. Suck it up. You grab one and then lower yourself into the truly turquoise water. Ahhhhh...96 degrees that day. Pretty and toasty warm. It seemed they allowed about 25 people in at a time to swim around…and it seemed there were about 10 scuba divers too.

We floated around in the water and admired the 8000-year-old walls…the entrance hole at the top and tried to stay out of the way of the scuba divers in training that bobbed to the surface unexpectedly a few times. Enough room for everyone to relax. One couple floated on their backs and linked legs…I think they took a nap. Pierce noted how cool it was, and very relaxing.

But one hour is all you get…so they hollered for us to hop out, get dressed and roll out. They have limited changing rooms (thus come in our suit and ready to go…that is part of your hour) so in the summer months you might want to cruise out to bathrooms in the parking lot and change, but it was chilly so we got dressed in warm clothes there. Luckily my internal clock was working so I was on way to the very few, very small changing rooms before they gave us notice. Score!

After we were dressed, we had to walk up the stairs to view from the top and look down into the entrance hole…they have a little bridge over it you can walk across and peer down. It is 78 steps to the top and boy is it a puffer. I wish I had done that BEFORE the relaxing float in the mineral water. Just saying.

After heading back to our condo we cleaned up and then checked out Heber Valley Brewing Company (see blog) and had a fabulous dinner at Back 40 Ranch House Grill (see blog) to finish out our night. BTW, it snowed overnight. A torrential blizzard in May. It IS right by Park City. Just a heads up. I almost missed my plane on that one. An adrenaline rush I could have done without.

Homestead Crater, check!

Would I come back? Well, yes. But it would not be the final destination. If I were in Salt Lake City or on my way to the parks or in Park City for something, I would make this happen again. It would be fun to stay in Midway for a weekend or a few days. Don’t forget a lot of things will be closed on Sundays due to the LDS population. The Worldmark Midway Condo was right on a beautiful golf course, I could see awesome hiking trails from my condo balcony and there seemed to be a great number of fun bakeries and breweries to check out. A train ride and a cheese maker in the area…it would be a fun little getaway.

For all pics and videos and what-not, please click on the FB and Instagram links. Thanks for hanging with me! If you go to any of these places, please tell them the Sightseeing Tipsy Gypsy send you! What’s on your bucket list?

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